Identifying Talent

Ideal Physical Attributes

Have you ever wondered what physical attributes High Performance coaches are looking for when it comes to spotting talent? 

Each sport and gymsport has a unique set of ideal physical attributes, necessary for identifying young athletes who will have future competitive success at an International level. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Age | 4-9
Physical Attributes | Small frame, light, thin limbs and shoulders wider than hips. Have good posture, flexibility, coordinated, naturally strong and powerful. Ideally girls will be on or below the 30th percentile in height (female percentile charts)
Other Attributes | Need to be able to listen and follow instructions, and be courageous.

 

Age | 6-10
Physical Attributes |Small frame, light and broad shoulders. Have good posture, flexible, coordinated, fast reflexes and are naturally strong and powerful. Ideally boys will be on or below the 25th percentile in height (male percentile charts)
Other Attributes | Need to be able to listen and follow instructions, and be courageous.

Age | Girls between the ages of 7 to 12.
Physical Attributes | Symmetry and balance in their body between the upper and lower halves of their body is crucial. Perfect symmetry of both sides of the body and a good upright stance.  Legs that are straight without hyperextension or knock-knees. Flexible feet with medium length toes. Hips that aren't too narrow or too wide. Optimal height chart to age for high performance
Additional Attributes |Musicality and artistry.

Age |  Girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 16. 
Physical Attributes | Average frame, good power to weight ratio, have good posture, flexibility - shoulders and hamstrings/lower back, ankle range, coordination, naturally strong and powerful.
Other Attributes | Need to be able to listen, follow instructions and make corrections. 

Junior girls and boys with the ability to get into tight positions (tuck, pike and hold straight), be able to jump high on the trampoline, have plenty of guts and like the challenge of learning skills.

Often MAG and WAG gymnasts transition smoothly into trampoline as they have a solid foundation of the requirements needed to become a successful trampolinist.

Additional Resources

Athlete Exit Strategy

For many years, a lot of time and commitment has been put in by the athlete, as well as the program staff. So, it is imperative that time is given to the athlete in the form of an exit strategy when they wish to cease the sport, whether at an elite level or altogether, to ensure their experience remains positive.  
Athlete Exit Strategy and Checklist

The Gym Report - The Timeline of an Elite Gymnast

An interesting article from The Gym Report blog about the average timeline of a US National Team Member. The average age for starting gymnastics was 3.7 years for all the current US Women's Senior and Junior team members.
The Timeline of an Elite Gymnast

Australian Institute of Sport - Top 10 Tips for Parents

Parents are major drivers and supporters in an athlete's development, and this web page provides evidence-based advice on how to best facilitate a child's sporting development. 
Top 10 Tips for Parents